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When the White House announced last week it would be losing the services of Lewis A. Sachs, one of the president’s top economic advisers, the reason given for Sachs’s departure was that his work was largely complete. “He’s leaving now that markets have stabilized and Secretary [Timothy] Geithner has had time to set up a permanent team,” Treasury Department spokesman Andrew Williams said.
But Sachs’s quiet exit, reported in a blog entry on the New York Times web site, comes without any apparent next move for the Wall Street veteran, except for what he told the Times was his desire for time to “catch up on some sleep.”
Not factoring into the decision, Williams said, were recent reports suggesting Sachs’s old employer could be the subject of a federal probe. A December Times report said federal officials were then in the early stages of an investigation into companies that sold a complex breed of securities known as synthetic collateralized debt obligations, or C.D.O.’s, and then made financial bets against them.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Discussed in this essay:
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.
The extinction symbol is a spare graphic that began to appear on London walls and sidewalks a couple of years ago. It has since become popular enough as an emblem of protest that people display it at environmental rallies. Others tattoo it on their arms. The symbol consists of two triangles inscribed within a circle, like so:
“The triangles represent an hourglass; the circle represents Earth; the symbol as a whole represents, according to a popular Twitter feed devoted to its dissemination (@extinctsymbol, 19.2K followers), “the rapidly accelerating collapse of global biodiversity” — what scientists refer to alternately as the Holocene extinction, the Anthropocene extinction, and (with somewhat more circumspection) the sixth mass extinction.
Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:
Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.
Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.
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Science’s crisis of faith